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Safety Policy

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This is designed to show the various safety procedures incorporated into the planning and execution of a club trip. This policy will be made available to all members to make them more aware of the Club's position and responsibility regarding safety.

  1. Destinations for trips are chosen appropriate to the time of year (both academic and calendar). In winter locations will be chosen to give options of easier walks which the conditions may necessitate.
  2. When advertising trips, details are given about the nature of the area, terrain, likely walks, equipment/experience that would be advisable. Those lacking items of equipment or with questions concerning the nature of the walking should contact a committee member (particularly the safety officer or president)
  3. Group size will vary in relation to the difficulty of the intended route. The members suggesting a route will decide on a suitable group size.
  4. The committee will check that each route is suitable for the group size and experience, taking into account the current weather conditions. The committee can delegate this to a more experienced member if necessary.
  5. The committee will ensure that there are enough suitable walks available on each trip, especially for less experienced and/or new members.
  6. Route cards for each walk must be filled in properly and left with the committee. On return the committee should be notified if everyone is back safely or otherwise. Route cards include route, estimated time and distance, escape route, details of equipment carried.
  7. The first named person on the route card is not responsible for any member on their route. They are responsible for ensuring the route card is filled out appropriately and that the appropriate equipment is carried by the group.
  8. Each member is responsible for his/her own actions and decisions while on the hill. This includes navigation, route choice, turning back, and all other decisions made while on the hill.
  9. No member is responsible for any other member, regardless of experience.
  10. Routes are altered, changed, or abandoned according to changing conditions on the day - inclement weather, fatigue or injury.
  11. Members that have little or no navigational skills are encouraged to acquire some on walks; there is ample opportunity for this to take place.
  12. Each group must be carrying equipment in case of emergency (survival bags, group shelters, torches, first aid kits). The club has a few of the above items to lend out. The committee reserves the right to refuse people with inadequate equipment or experience to undertake walks.
  13. It is the responsibility of the individual to inspect any equipment borrowed from the club, and to ensure they have adequate knowledge in respect of its use. Any problems or issues should be reported immediately to a member of the committee.

This document is complemented by Mountain Guidelines and Emergency Procedures (External link to MCofS website), which give basic advice to members.

In summary, it is a question of common sense over taking safety precautions at each stage, to ensure that trips suit the experience of the members and the prevailing conditions at the time, and that they have adequate equipment. The club role is one of advisor, but not instructor.

Author: 
Sarah Hammond (revised by Dave Farrow 2010)